The game – What?

Sticks Author: Steve


Back at it – The Sticks at rehearsal tonight means a few things.

  1. Jim and Allison brought beer.
  2. Rachel made a bread thing with peppers from her garden.
  3. Chris B. and Kendra hosted.
  4. We laughed at a puppet with a poopy hole.

Yes!  Puppets are often creepy, but everybody poops.

In the main part of rehearsal, we again focused on the first beat.  We spent some time defining 1A, 1B, 1C again and talked about offering/initiating.  To get warmed up and to bring some focus to initiating followed by yes/and, we pulled an exercise that Steve heard on the 3-25-2010 Billy Merritt Improv Resource Center podcast – the perfect podcast for The Sticks because it is instructional.

Stand in a circle.  One person starts and initiates to the person on their right with an accusation.  That person must yes/and.

You took my baby’s blanket!

Yes.  And now I need it to sleep every night!

From here we then did two full first beats.  Our focus was on trying to find the “game”.  The game! What?  Basketball?  Zap?

Since we are all short form improv types from way back, the concept of “the game” is a bit confusing to us.  Especially when you then combine the idea with “do a group game after the first beat”.  Is it the same game?  What are these games?

We have come to learn that “finding the game” within the scene means coming to agreement on what is funny and building off of it.  The game is the trick, the gimmick, the thing that is odd.  And once it is offered or noticed, it should be hammered to death.

In one of our scenes, a boyfriend had tricked his wife into flying to Antarctica to see penguins.  She thought she was going to Pittsburgh to see the Penguins play hockey.  Allison – Sticks member by night, teacher by day, lawyer in training always – tagged to a scene where she was flying the couple to their destination.  She created a game by indicating that she was in on the trick – she was in cahoots with the boyfriend.  “We’ll be landing soon in Antar…. I mean Pittsburgh soon….”  This kicked off a couple of scenes that also included people in on the trick.  A lovely little game that perhaps wasn’t fully exploited, but gave us lots to deconstruct afterwards.

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